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HF 7870

Preparing for your Gastric Emptying Scan

Check in Date and Time: 

_________________________________.

Where will I have the test done?

Adults:  

University Hospital

600 Highland Ave

Madison, WI 53792

Go through the lobby to the 2nd floor atrium elevators. Go up to 3rd floor. Follow the signs to Radiology.  

Pediatrics:  

American Family Children's Hospital 

1675 Highland Ave, Madison, 53792

Check-in at the Diagnostic and Therapy Center. You will be taken to University Hospital for your scan.

If you need to reschedule the test, call the Radiology Department at 608-263-9729

What is it?

The gastric emptying scan is a test to look at how quickly food leaves your stomach. 

How should I get ready for the test?

  • Do not eat or drink any food or liquids for 6 hours before your check in time.

  • If you smoke, do not smoke the morning of the test.

  • Two days before the test your doctor may have you stop taking these medicines.

    • Some may affect how quickly food moves through your stomach, such as, Reglan (metoclopramide), Motilium (domperidone), Bentyl (dicyclomine), Donnatal, Zelnorm (tegaserod), erythromycin

    • Pain medicines, such as codeine, Percocet (oxycodone), Tylenol #3, OxyContin, Percodan, fentanyl patch, methadone, Vicodin (hydrocodone), Ultram (tramadol) can also affect your stomach.

    • Do not take any laxatives the day before or the day of the test.

    • Your doctor may not want you to stop certain medicines. They may want to see how they are working.

    • A pharmacist will review your medicines. If needed they will contact your doctor.

  • If you have diabetes, talk to your primary doctor about how to manage your medicine.

  • Talk to your doctor to see if you can take other medicines with a sip of water the day of the test. Take these at least 2 hours before you arrive at the hospital for the test.

  • If you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant or breast feeding, please tell us. This test should not be done if you are pregnant or breast-feeding except under special conditions.

 What can I expect during the test?

The test will take about 4-5 hours. For infants about 2 1/2 hours. 

You will be given a small meal of cooked egg whites, bread and water. The food you eat has a small amount of a radioactive substance in it. The radioactive substance has no taste and the food tastes normal. If you have a confirmed allergy to eggs or wheat (gluten), tell us and a different meal will be provided for you.

After eating the meal, pictures will be taken of your stomach over the next 4 hours. You may be standing. If you cannot stand for 5 minutes, please let us know. You will be able to move around between the picture-taking. You may want to bring a book or something else to help pass the time. Do not eat or drink anything other than what we give you during the test. 

Infants: will have formula instead of the described meal. Pictures will be taken over a 2-hour period.

After the test is done:

You can return home and begin your regular diet and medicines.  

For any questions, please call Radiology at 608-263-9729. 

Toll free 1-800-323-8942; ask for Radiology.

References:

Camilleri, M. & Shin, A. (2013) Novel and validated approaches for gastric emptying scintigraphy in patients with suspected gastroparesis. Digestive Diseases & Sciences, 58 (7), 1813-1815. DOI 10.1007/s10620-013-2715-9.

Gastric Emptying Scan. How to Prepare. (2013) Retrieved from http://www.uwmedicine.org/health-library/Pages/gastric-emptying-scan.aspx

Gastric Emptying Scan. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.uofmmedicalcenter.org/healthlibrary/Article/40434

Maurer, A. H. (2015) Gastrointestinal motility, Part 1: Esophageal transit and gastric emptying. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 56 (8), 1229-1238.

Maurer, A. H. (2012) Advancing gastric emptying studies: Standardization and new parameters to assess gastric motility and function. Seminars in Nuclear Medicine, 42, (2), 101-112.